News & Politics

E-Mails From Inside the Huffington Post the Day It Won the Pulitzer

The seven-year-old publication got its first Pulitzer Prize this year—and we got a copy of the in-house e-mail chain.

The Washington Bureau of Huffington Post has a lot to be
happy about these days. Just last week, when the Supreme Court ruled
on Obamacare, its coverage attracted 9.8 million page views to
the site in just one day.* That joy almost matches what
the staffers felt in April, when the publication scored its
first Pulitzer Prize, in the category of National Reporting, for
a series by senior military correspondent Dave Wood on the
challenges facing wounded Iraq and Afghanistan soldiers, “Beyond
the Battlefield

Wood, by the way, received the news at home, where
he was in bed recovering from knee surgery. He told his wife, “I have
go into the office,” and she, caring about his physical
well-being, said, “No way. You’re staying in bed.” But understandably,
and thanks to significant painkillers, he went in anyway to be
part of the celebration.

So what’s the reaction like in a news organization
when word spreads among the ranks that a colleague is about to win the
Pulitzer? We can tell you: profane, superstitious, exuberant,
and competitive, and with much use of the exclamation mark.
We got insider access to the e-mail thread sent around the
Huffington Post on the morning of April 16. It tells its own story.
It also proves HuffPo could win an award for most diversity of
job titles.

10:51 AM (Senior Political Reporter): Hey guys. So, as some
of you may have heard, we have heard that our own Dave Wood has
won a Pulitzer, set to be announced at 3 p.m. today. We are not
yet 100% sure (we heard through back channels), and we also
don’t want to jump the gun on this regardless. SO PLEASE DO NOT

10:52 AM (Reporter): !!!!! Congratulations, and very deserved! Tweeting 100x after 3.

10:55 AM (Associate Polling Editor): Whoa! Congratulations David!

10:57 AM (Deputy Blog Editor): So well-deserved! Absolutely awesome.

10:57 AM (Video Producer): SO DESERVED! congrats David!! Who is recovering from partial knee replacement surgery but is still
walking around the office today?!! Champion!

10:59 AM (Senior Congressional Reporter): hot damn. those are some great stories. i will bask in your glow.

10:59 AM (Senior Political Reporter): Holy F**king *hit.

11:00 AM (White House Correspondent): Is no one superstitious like me? Let’s wait till 3!!!

11:01 AM (Senior Political Reporter) It’s impressive regardless. Finalist or winner!

11:03 AM (Senior Political Reporter): well, suffice to say I’m cancelling my train to philly and will cover romney’s speech
tonight via video. i’m coming to the office for this.

11:04 AM (Staff Reporter): Dave that’s fantastic!! So well deserved! Congrats! T minus 3:57 for the Twitter bomb.

11:09 AM (Hill Reporter): Whatever the outcome,
whatever the commendation, it’ll be inadequate. Dave’s work transcends

11:09 AM (State Politics Reporter): CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! (Saying this and also a bit superstitious).

11:16 AM (Senior Political Economy Reporter): Whooooooooo!

11:18 AM (Supreme Court Correspondent): MASSIVE

11:22 AM (Senate Daily Desk): Drinks are in order!
AOL would expect no less. Because I’m superstitious. I’ll slay
on an amazing series and body of work that is getting the
recognition it deserves. So proud to work here.

at 3. *faints!*

11:38 AM (White House Correspondent): we are tempting fates. let’s all shut up for the time being

11:41 AM (Senior Political Reporter): wtf people? seriously?

11:50 AM (Editor AOL Defense): Holy Smoke! David, regardless of outcome, congrats.

11:52 AM (Staff Reporter): Holy sh*t. Holding my breath until 3.

3:41 PM (Reporter and Researcher): I’m revising
this thread!!! Congrats. David!! And congrats to the editors and video
Not many pubs would invest this much time in such a difficult
subject. Maybe the secret is finally out: Huff Post is an amazing
inspiring place to be a journalist!!!

3:42 PM (White House correspondent): i’m f*cking dying on amtrak right now. people are looking at me funny because i can’t
contain my excitement. someone save some beer for me!

3:51 PM (Editorial Director) Amen to that.

3:56 PM (Senior Writer): Just superb work all around. A really amazing series.

4:05 PM (White House and Congressional Reporter):
I’m so f*cking proud of HuffPost. David and the whole team. Such amazing
work coming out of here and this is a day we’ll remember with
pride. And with that I’m heading into the White House, where
I’ll be telling X [editor’s note: name withheld to protect the
“innocent”] to go f*ck himself for apparently shouting “WTF”
to other reporters at the very idea of HuffPost winning
anything. just for being HuffPost.

4:06 PM (Senior Political Reporter): Yeah. X’s outlet, X, really should have won. They were cheated.

4:07 PM (Political Reporter): Hey X. WTF indeed. It’s called digging and doing work on something that matters.

4:09 PM (Senior National Correspondent): Tell X personally from me to f*ck off and take all his [. . . ] colleagues with him.

4:22 PM (Social Media Editor) RT @___Report: BREAKING: X Wins Pulitzer for Fiction

*This post has been updated from a previous version.